I’ve been interested in Scratch for a while now.
An interesting, fun (and free) piece of software, it’s a good place to start if you want the students in your class to learn to do some basic animation and programming.
Scratch is in the beginning stages of a renaissance in my classroom as my kids have discovered it on our new laptops. At this point kids are just playing with it, trading around some information and spending some time with it. A budding Scratch club is building.
As I have the world’s most organized educational assistant working in my classroom, I had her make a set of these Scratch cards and print off one of the manuals (pdf) so we’d have it in the classroom. I’ve also put the manuals on our tablets so that kids can have access to it in a few different ways.
But over the last few days I’ve learned that there are at least two spin off projects from Scratch for people who want to work in different ways on projects that are more advanced.
BYOB (Build Your Own Blocks) comes out of Berkley and adds more functionality to the programming blocks that Scratch has available.
There is also Panther, another project that adds additional ideas to what is possible from using the original piece of software.
I’m not sure if there are others out there that are variants of Scratch itself. I couldn’t find any others on a quick look around. There are a wealth of other resources available in this genre (like Stencyl… I love Stencyl) that allow kids to be creative and learn some programming as well. Most of these programs are free, and there are a lot of resources online to use. They simply need some time to explore.